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Catch Me If You Can (2002) - ***
Fun. That's the best way to describe this story of Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio), if that is his name. Steven Spielberg brings us a second good movie this year (Minority Report being the other). Based on a true story, this movie takes us on a non-stop journey of a teenage who is conning his way around the world posing as a pilot, doctor, and lawyer. This goes on for years, as he is able to stay just ahead of FBI agent, Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks). Christopher Walken also turns in a good performance as Frank Abagnale Sr. All of the supporting cast performed also performed well. No matter who you find yourself rooting for, this is fun ride.

Changing Lanes (2002) - **1/2
I had been looking forward to seeing this movie, because it seemed like from the trailer that it had a good premise. I am a bit disappointed that it wasn't as good as I expected. I liked that it showed how things can go bad quickly when people and society start to lose basic courtesy, but felt this particular story was lacking and I wasn't that impressed as it played out. It's not the fault of the actors, but a lacking script. Samuel Jackson was good as always and Ben Affleck was good enough as usual.

Chicago (2002) - ***1/2
Not being a huge fan of the musical genre, I wasn't originally too excited about this film. But after hearing nothing but critical acclaim from everyone, including 13 Oscar nominations, I was enticed to check it out. I was surprised just how much I liked it. The thing that impressed me the most were the two leads, Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones. I have enjoyed many of their earlier movies, but I had no idea how talented they were until this movie. They can really sing and dance! The supporting cast, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, and John C. Reilly, were also surprisingly good. It had a good story that mixed well with the musical numbers. Chicago is definitely worth checking out, even if you're not a big musical fan. It's a very fun and entertaining movie.

Chungking Express (Chong qing sen lin) (1994) - **1/2
A quirky Hong Kong romance story. It's somewhat reminiscent of a John Cusack movie, but this is a bit more stylish. I found it highly watchable, especially the second half where a girl who works at a food joint falls for a lovesick cop. I was definitely surprised when she began sneaking into his apartment to clean and redecorate it. A little strange for sure, but not in a bad way.

Citizen's Band (1977) - **1/2
I found this movie a somewhat interesting look into the CB culture that was so popular in the late 1970s. The movie's biggest flaw is that it takes itself a little too seriously. Paul Le Mat was believable in the somewhat unbelievable role of "Spider", the crusader, trying to cut down on the misuse of the Citizen's Band by tracking down the offenders. I also enjoyed seeing him matched up with Candy Clark who he worked with in my all-time favorite movie, American Graffiti. Not a great movie and pretty dated, but it held my interest.
Other Trucker Movie

Clear and Present Danger (1994) - ***1/2
Once again Jack Ryan is on the case in this political thriller. Harrrison Ford really is the perfect choice for going from the white house to hands on in the jungle of South America.
Rank: #6 in

Collateral Damage (2002) - **
Arnold's back again to take on Columbian terrorists. Unlike his movies from the 80's, this one tries to take itself too seriously. Unfortunately, it failed to draw me into it as a serious story. And without his one-liners and over-the-topness we've seen so many times before, this movie doesn't provide us with the typical cheesy Schwarzenegger action film we've come to expect. Besides, you'd think by now ALL the bad guys would know better than to mess with Arnold and his family.

Comic Book Villians (2002) - *1/2
This movie started off catching my interest a bit, telling the story of the comic book world in a small town. Then about half way through it turned into an extremely violent tale leading to a bad ending. Seemed like there was potential there, but it was lost.

The Conman (Du xia) (1998) - *1/2
I'm a fan of con, gambling, and Hong Kong movies. This movie is all three, but it so lacking in quality that fails on all levels. The cons and gambling are boring and unbelievable. Two things that appeal to me about many Hong Kong movies are the action and the humor. The action is unexciting and the humor is repulsive. I was hoping for at least some decent entertainment, but unfortunately I was on the wrong end of a bad con.

Conman in Tokyo (Chung wa diy hap) (2000) - **1/2
This wasn't a great movie, and maybe not even quite good. But yet, I was highly entertained throughout. For me, I'm figuring out that quite often, it's not the plot that makes an entertaining Hong Kong movie, but the interesting characters and their interactions getting to the plot that keep me entertained. I'm not knocking Hong Kong movies, as there are plenty of high quality ones with good plots...like The Killer or Beijing Bicycle that I think are excellent movies. But the Hong Kong movie movie industry seems to be able to crank out lots of lesser movies, that are just good fun to sit around with your friends and watch. This movie had some good elements. I'm a big fan of cards, poker, gambling...so the card playing scenes, as well as the dice scene, were my favorites. I'm going to have to practice up my "Flying Cards" before my next game with my poker buddies. It also had a few good kung fu scenes, where one of the characters exclaim that "Jackie Chan isn't the only one in Hong Kong that knows Kung Fu". Also, the subtitles weren't the best which also provided for some unintentional humor. Just simple fun. I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention that it had some serious scenes as well, but for me, they were just pauses between the action in this movie.

Cool Hand Luke (1967) - ***1/2
I've seen this movie several times and never get tired of it. It's most famous scene is the egg-eating bet, but it has so many more great scenes. One of my favorite is Paul Newman singing the "Plastic Jesus" song...another when he's shaking the bush...and the car wash scene! And one of my favorite movie lines, "What we've got here...is a failure...to communicate.". It's one of Newman's finest roles, and he's surrounded by a group of well played supporting characters.
Rank: #1 in
1967, #6 in 1960s

Courage Under Fire (1996) - ***
Denzel is assigned to investigate the story that may lead to the first Medal of Honor for a woman in combat. At first the story seems straight forward, but as he digs deeper stories start conflicting. Good acting as always from Denzel, and the supporting cast did a good job as well.
Rank: #9 in

Crime Story (Zhong an zu) (1993) - *1/2
I'm usually a big fan of Jackie Chan's movies. They're not horribly deep or meaningful, but they are usually very entertaining with Jackie's nice blend of impressive martial arts and humor. Unfortunately this movie was very lacking in both departments. Instead Jackie mostly uses a gun instead of his normal creative kung fu to deal with the bad guys. It's made worse by the fact that this was a poorly dubbed version of the movie. There are a lot of his movies I still haven't seen, but currently this one ranks lowest on the list. With his highly prolific career, do yourself a favor and choose another one of his movies.

Crimson Tide (1995) - ***1/2
Denzel and Hackman both turn in excellent performances in this story of mutiny on a nuclear submarine. You're never quite sure who's crossing the line.
Rank: #5 in
1995, #2 Submarine Movie

The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course (2002) - **1/2
This movie is what it is. If you like watching that kooky Steve Irwin play with deadly animals, this movie won't disappoint in that area. I personally can't help but to laugh AT him. They of course throw in a dumb plot that really was of no interest of me...but I guess they had to do something.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Wo Hu Cang Long) (2000) - ***1/2
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has the heart of the old martial art films with a modern day big budget and excellent production, combined we are rewarded with one of the all-time best martial art films ever made. I grew up watching Kung-Fu Theater on KTLA and in my adult life have watch quite a few Hong Kong movies on DVD. Not to lessen my appreciation for the quality martial arts movies that came before, because there are many excellent movies out there. But I was happy to see this big budget film remain true to the style of the older films, while giving the genre a boost that could only be acheived with a modern day budget. I feel the movie succeeds so well because of the strengths of the established Hong Kong actors Chow-Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh, as well as the introduction of Ziya Zhang. They are top notch actors and they kick some serious butt! Though mainstream American viewers had received a bit of introduction to wire-fu in The Matrix and other action movies, I think for most this movie was their first true experience with a martial arts movie that really featured classic wire-fu at it's best. I think, at least for some, they weren't quite sure how to take it. I talked to quite a few people about this movie when it came out and got different responses ranging from feeling it was the coolest thing they'd ever seen to confusion over the un-realism of the stuntwork. This movie really has it all...a good story, excellent martial arts, quality acting, breath-taking cinematography. My hat's off to Ang Lee for such a success on this film. With all my praises for this movie, I must also mention Iron Monkey, which came out in 1993. It's nearly as good as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but wasn't seen by nearly as wide of an audience. I can only guess due to lesser marketing. Iron Monkey was directed by Woo-ping Yuen, the stunt choreographer on Crouching Tiger. If you liked Crouching Tiger and are looking for more of the same kind of movie, this would be a good next choice. If you're looking for further recommendations, let me know and I can recommend others.
Rank: #2 in
2000, #3 in 2000s

A Cry in the Dark (1988) - ***
A movie based on an incredible true story. I didn't know the details of these events going in, so the movie was a surprise to me. Meryl Streep and Sam Neill play the parents who have their baby taken from their tent by a dingo while on holiday at Ayer's Rock. While it's being investigated some of the facts come into question. Eventually, among a nation of rumors, they find themselves on trial for the murder of their baby daughter. It's a heart-wrenching tale of faiths being questioned while waiting for all the facts come out. It is extremely well acted and directed, using some great Australian locales including the opening scene at Ayer's Rock. While the movie maybe not be great, it was a great way to learn about this story. Prior to watching it, I was pretty much just aware of the quote made famous by Elaine on Seinfeld,
"Maybe the dingo ate your baby".


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